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Then: Face To Face

Now: Facebook

After several days of self-diagnosis, I have come to the conclusion that I have SchizoFriendia.  Before I tell you my symptoms, I'd like to back up a bit and explain the root of this problem, which lies in my childhood.  Freud - are you listening?  

As a toddler, I had an imaginary friend.  To protect his identity, I won't mention his name at this time.  After all, he may still be alive and well and befriending some other little toddler in need of his affections.    

Entering elementary school, I left my IF (imaginary friend) behind and eventually became friends with the one girl that I had admired from afar, who to this day is still my BFF.

Throughout junior high and high school, it was pretty much the same.  Me, my BFF and one or two other friends.    

Without a large pool from which to pull, if all my friends were absent on a particular day, that posed a problem.  I had no one to eat lunch with.  Which more often that not meant eating lunch in the bathroom stall.  Lest you feel a pang of sorrow for me, please note that I gained quite a lot of knowledge about life from that hidden spot.  

And to do this day, the friends I see on a face-to-face basis can be still be counted on one hand.  

And therein lies the basis of my current affliction.  SchizoFriendia - The need to amass as many friends as I can get on my new playground: Facebook

Every day when I log on, my adrenalin starts pumping.  Do I have a new friend request?  Did the person I ask to be my friend accept my friendship?  Do I have as many friends as  my friends have?  

I search through my new friend's friends and send out friend requests to their friends.  100 friends.  200.  500!  How many can I get?

I'm collecting friends as if they are a commodities.  Will the value of each friend decrease by the number of friends I end up with?  Or does my value increase by the quantity of friends on my page?  Is a friend from the other side of the country, worth more than one from my own neighborhood?  How about one from outer space?  Or one from the other side?      

And then I begin to wonder- who are all these people?  Mary is "wearing Barbie Doll underwear while she bakes chocolate chip cookies."  Stan is "listening to his bathroom faucet drip to the tune of Oobla-Dee, Oobla-Da."  Lulu thinks "the color red is dangerous."    

I wish I could stop.  I really do.  Because unlike my IF, I can't even touch these Facebook friends.  I can't see them.  Or hear them.  But I know they are out there.   Running races, racing to bus stops, stopping for red lights, redlining manuscripts, managing office politics, politely refusing one-night stands, standing up for what they believe in, believing in the sunrise, flipping eggs over-easy and easily becoming addicted to Scrabble.

Maybe some are even wondering what I am doing.  Sometimes I wonder that too, but that's a topic for another time.      

Right now, I just have one important question to ask you.

Will you be my friend?



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Chattycathie wrote Mar 22, 2009
    • Janie,

      I know what you mean.  I looked today and I have over 1700 facebook friends.  I know I invited some, but I have no idea who half of these people found me.  

      Funny experience.  I was in this shop last week with some friends waiting with them in line and the lady behind them look so familiar.  I realized later she was a facebook friend.  It made me think how many people am I connected to that I pass on the streets that may recognize me that way.

      By the way, if you haven’t seen it, you would probably love the movie “Drop Dead Fred.”  One of my favorites.  It is about a imaginary friend that comes back to this girl when she is an adult.

      Another great blog.  Thanks for sharing

      Cathie



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Mar 22, 2009
    • Jane a very good blog .....

      Cathie 1700 friends how did you manage that are you famous ?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Mar 22, 2009
    • Cathie - 1700!  Thanks for the movie recommendation.  It sounds like something I would like.

      Vicki - Thanks for stopping by.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lindao wrote Mar 22, 2009
    • Of course I’ll be your friend, Janie!  I admit that I’m not on Facebook, though.  I’m concerned about how much time it’ll take, and I’m already online more than I should be.  But my friends aren’t all face to face, either.  E-mail works wonders! —Linda



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Chattycathie wrote Mar 22, 2009
    • Vicki,

      I invited some in groups, but I think most came from people watching my videos and friending me.  I don’t know who half these people are, but if they aren’t wierdos and still want to be my friend, I accept them.  I guess my videos are making me famous.

      Cathie



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Mar 22, 2009
    • Linda - Yes, it can be time consuming, but I try to limit my Facebook time or I wouldn’t get any writing done.

      Cathie - Your videos are great!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Mar 22, 2009
    • Cathie good for you honey as it’s all PR and getting your name out there .



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sandyde wrote Mar 22, 2009
    • lol. I have like 6 friends on Facebook. Ha Ha!  

      Still, I can relate—-I’m addicted to Twitter. ohhhh

      Great blog as usual, Janie. You always give us something to think about happy.

      Sandy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tinaf wrote Mar 22, 2009
    • So funny, Janie, thank you!  And for the record, yep, I’m your Facebook friend.  In fact, I might be the friend who got you to sign up there to begin with...



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Mar 22, 2009
    • chattycathy..you said from people watching your videos...what videos?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Chattycathie wrote Mar 22, 2009
    • MaryClark—The videos I create with my business.

      [Link Removed]

      [Link Removed]

      [Link Removed]


      Chattycathie, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Mar 22, 2009
    • OH I see now.  Interesting.

      You can let Facebook get out of control with all the friends.  If I don’t know you or know of you...then I just hit ignore.  No offense...but what is the point?  

      I have come in contact with a lot of my high school friends that I use to hang around with and haven’t seen in many many years.  Of course I don’t need to know their every waking moment of the day...but it is nice to keep in touch with them.  Plus it saves me loads of time.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Justjer wrote Mar 22, 2009
    • FACEBOOK SHMACEBOOK...That just came out...I have never been on it and yet did get a few invites...I have to say, I feel its a bit intrusive....but only a bit.  I don’t think they actually sent the invites....its a big machine....OK I’m done now...I am and always will be your friend.  I guess I’m pickier than you are.  If I did get started I’m afraid what might happen.  I hardly have time enough for solitaire and crossword puzzles.  And counting flowers on the wall....Thanks for another really great blog, my friend.
      Your Friend
      Jer



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Debict wrote Mar 23, 2009
    • I got hooked on Facebook when I started seminary school a year and a half ago.  Most of the younger students were already on with 1,000 or so freinds that they gained in college.  I was so happy when I had 20 friends, now I have around 170 and it seems that every organization that I belong to is on FaceBook.  I am invited to meetings, parties, lunches, events, causes, etc. all on FaceBook.  The cook thing is that I can respond, “will attend, will not attend, maybe” without the pressure of a “face to face” invitation.

      Recently, I got my children and family on FaceBook (across the country) and we‘re all connecting, sharing pictures and such.  It’s been a great tool.

      As far as time goes, you can spend as little or as much as you like.  When I need a break or distraction from studies, I go online and see what other people are up to, I update my own status, play around a little, then back to work.  It’s a great way to be a part of community with others who you may not have a chance to see or meet.  Also, you don’t have to take a shower, get dressed, and go out to do it.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Mar 23, 2009
    • I got on Facebook just to open an email a friend sent me. I don’t know why she sent thru FB since she had all my other contact info. Up until I quit working I didn’t have/make time to be on internet social sites. Unless you count Yahoo games! Now that I am on FB I have hooked up with old high school people, people from my 2 previous jobs (I’ve only had 2 jobs in the past 25 years), family and friends of friends. The list goes on.
      I just got started on twitter but still not sure what to do with it.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tamra wrote Mar 23, 2009
    • Early in the game, I despised myspace, facebook, etc because of the child predators found there.  But now that I’m a user, I see the value of these sites in bringing people together.  They just have to be used cautiously like most everything else in life.

      BTW, great blog!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Mar 23, 2009
    • Sandy -  I joined Twitter but have yet to figure it out.

      Tina - I owe my FB addictions to you!

      Justjer - When or if you do join FB, let’s play scrabble.

      Deb - The best part about FB is connecting with family across the country.  Which I do alot and really do enjoy.

      Vikki - I just reconnected with an old work friend and a writer that I used to see all the time.  I’m with you on Twitter - I haven’t a clue yet how to use it.

      Tamra- I agree. There is value if used in moderation.

      Thanks everyone for stopping by.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pamaloon wrote Mar 23, 2009
    • Hey Janie!

      Great post - I’m about to join FB, so I will definitely be your friend. :)

      The only problem I have with any of it (FB, Twitter, you name it) is TIME. I definitely need some more of that.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Mar 23, 2009
    • Pam- I’d love to have you as my friend!  I need more time, too. If only we could find a way to add a few hours onto each day.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jenni0811 wrote Mar 23, 2009
    • janie....I also have a few very close BFF’s in 3D....and I got sucked into the popularity contest that FB can become....however, it didn’t take long for me to decide that that venue wasn’t for me......“friends” were not that at all...in fact, many were anything but. I have since closed down my FB account because of that exact issue. In cyber space, I have concluded that the women I have met here on Fab40 are of the high caliber that I wish to commune with.... I also commend Yana for her efforts and skills in putting together this high end site. All of that also doesn’t take into consideration that I only have so many hours in the day to devote to cyber blogging....   haha...  I don’t mean to influence your actions....just relating mine, girlfriend!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Mar 23, 2009
    • Jenni - I commend Yana, too.  I love this site and writing this column and limit my FB time to just a few minutes a day, unless I’m playing Scrabble with one of my 3D friends who is also on FB!

      Have a great evening.

      Janie



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jenni0811 wrote Mar 23, 2009
    • That has been a problem for me....my 3D friends are asking me where my FB acct is......C‘est la vie....they can text me when they have something to say!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Mar 24, 2009
    • I use Facebook to connect to old schoolmates, family and friends I already knew.

      This is the only site I make virtual friends from scratch and I am very comfortable in this setting here.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Brenda Waters wrote Mar 24, 2009
    • I love facebook!

      I’m on there, if anyone wants to look me up :)



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sheila Mitchell wrote Mar 24, 2009
    • I’m with CD, I only use Facebook to connect with old friends from my past. There have been a few times when I received a friend request from someone I don’t know, I generally just ignore. Like CD, this site I specifically joined to make “NEW” Friends.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Mar 24, 2009
    • Chinadoll - I’ve just recently connected with some old friends and am really glad to have done so.

      f8t4dogs - I’ll look you up.

      Texas- I’ve been accepting all friends and until something weird happens with someone, I’ll keep them as a friend.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Diane Klapper wrote Mar 30, 2009
    • JANIE THIS IS THE BEST FOR ME SO FAR.  I REALLY CAN RELATE TO YOUR EARLY YEARS.,  MINUS FYOUR FRIEND WHO I WILL KEEP NAMELESS BECAUSE I AM THE SISTER OF YBF. YOU OUR BOTH VERY LUCKY TO HAVE EACH OTHER.  I LIKE YOU TREASURE EVERY FRIENDSHIP I HAVE .  MIKELLE TOLD ME THAT THIS BELONGS ON FB.estatic



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